Romulo Cafe - Modern Filipino Cuisine in Jupiter, Makati

Romulo Cafe - Modern Filipino Cuisine in Jupiter, Makati

Birthdays in our family are treated with high regard. It’s a day wherein our family gets together despite being all busy and possibly even disagreements. Because of this, we normally plan and decide ahead — normally about a week or two ahead.

It was my brother who suggested Romulo Cafe, and since we were all craving for fiesta-like Filipino food, we all gave our “thumbs up”. Another reason why I gave it a go is its proximity from the place I work. All I needed was to allot about 20 minutes of walking. In this blog post, I’ll be sharing with you my adventure (or more appropriately misadventure) finding Romulo Cafe and of course checking the dishes out.  Enjoy!

Romulo Cafe - Modern Filipino Cuisine in Jupiter, Makati

Twenty turned Sixty
Judging by the distance between my office and Romulo Cafe, I could have been there within 20 minutes. Unfortunately, the wrong decisions I had (direction-wise) caused me additional 40 minutes. Yes, I seemingly endlessly walked around Makati for an hour. Here’s what happened. 

<skip this part if you don't want to hear about the part where I got lost>
I located Romulo Cafe using Google Maps, and once the blue dot appeared along Jupiter Street, I didn’t bother to get directions from the app. “Geez, Jupiter Street. I’ve been in the area for quite some time. I need no app for this” my inner voice told me. I studied the map and made a plan. I would make a left turn to Jupiter Street. All set.

Unfortunately, I missed (or I didn’t notice that I already passed by Jupiter Street). I checked the map again, and I thought I could make a left turn in Juno Street instead. Wrong. There are walls dividing the street, so there's no way I can pass through it. Stupid as I was, I didn’t think of turning back. Instead, I kept on trying entering to the next streets, which all of them have walls between them. Little did I know that I’ll end up beyond Buddha Bar.

At last there was a gate. However, just when I thought I was already “on track” I got lost within the village. Apparently, I should have walked straight to Orbit Street and exit Jupiter Street. Instead, I got “trapped” within the village, thinking that there was an exit in Comet Street (since Romulo Cafe sits at the intersection of that street and Jupiter Street). For the nth time, I was wrong, so I needed to backtrack all my steps and walk another set of hundred meters, until finally I’ve reached the restaurant. The good news is, despite my mishap, I was still the first one to reach the place. Plus, all the walking worked up my appetite.

Choosing learning over mistake
I could have been pissed about myself but I chose not to, especially that I got to reflect on several things as I walked. On top of it, it was my brother and sister’s birthday. That's a good reason to just laugh about my mistake, and move forward by lessening blooper moments like those.

Interior of Romulo Cafe, Makati

Romulo Cafe - an underground hideout
Now, I settled down a bit. Freshened up, and that was when I got the chance to appreciate the interior of Romulo Cafe. The structure is a bit different. It’s like the restaurant is divided into two wings wherein you need to pass by this “tunnel” (for a lack of better term) to reach this wing, where we had our seats reserved. Also, the selection of silverware, table cloths and furniture gave Romulo Cafe an elegant and modern look. The setup and the ambiance make the restaurant perfect for a date or a special occasion like this.

Sinigang na Salmon sa Miso of Romulo Cafe

Modernly prepared traditional Filipino cuisine
Romulo Cafe features traditional comfort Filipino food but tweaked a bit to add some modern touches. Strictly speaking the dishes are no longer "traditional" (but I think nothing is anymore), yet the food still has that "old" satisfying comfort we are longing for.

To kick off the night, we had the Sinigang na Salmon sa Miso (P385). It came in a huge bowl that was able to satisfy 9 of us together, and it might even be stretched to 10 or 11. It had this grainy texture from the fish bits, and the soup was homey and comfortingly sour. Those who are into that asim-kilig will be able to appreciate this.

Beef Salpicao of Romulo Cafe, Makati

The Beef Salpicao (P375) may not be dreamy melty but it surely was tender (similar to the texture of medium well steak). The flavor was also on-spot with its garlicky flavor and salty-savory goodness. A fantastic starter! 

Laing with Adobo Flakes of Romulo Cafe

The Laing with Adobo Flakes (P198) was a sure winner for me! The adobo flakes added a playful crunch to the texture, the laing leaves were also crisp denoting freshness. Let's also not leave oout how rightly creamy with us, and the taste was bold yet balanced. The only thing that can disappoint is its lack of "kick", but I'm sure they won't mind. Well, I didn't.  

Mixed Bicol Express of Romulo Cafe

The Mixed Bicol Express (P325) is also another star of the night. It came in as an underdog since nobody expected it to be supreme with the creamy spicy and gingery taste. The diversity of meat (squid, shrimp and pork) had excellent textures as well which further enhanced the experience. I highly recommend this dish for you to try!  

Baby Pusit in Garlic of Romulo Cafe

The Baby Pusit in Garlic (P350) had an overflowing freshness evidenced by the tenderness in each bite. The sauce was also well-balance with the push and pull of vinegar and garlic.

Tito Greg's Kare-Kare of Romulo Cafe

As you may know (or at least now you will), Kare-Kare is my number 1 favorite Filipino dish. This is why I always look forward to tasting the kare-kare of any Filipino restaurants we visit.

Tito Greg's Kare-Kare of Romulo Cafe

Tito Greg's Kare-Kare (P510) was a dream. From the moment I laid my eyes on the dish, I fell in love with its vibrant color. One look and I knew it would be exquisite! Thankfully, my impression remained faithful. It was subtly sweet and it was infused with boiled peanuts creating that grainy yet ironically creamy texture of the sauce. Oh, the bagoong is something you should keep an eye on -- it will turn this dish even more magical with its captivating sweetness!  

Lola Virginia's Chicken Relleno of Romulo Cafe

Another special dish here in Romulo Cafe is Lola Virginia's Chicken Relleno - Half Chicken (P698). I label it "special" because this is a dish not too common. In fact, you won't easily find this in any other Filipino restaurants.

I enjoyed munching on this one not only because it was something "new", but also because of the incredible meatiness. It has the traditional goodness of a relleno but in a more "refined" way. It was also noticeably sweet, which we were able to balance out with its gravy-like sauce on the side.

Lola Virginia's Chicken Relleno of Romulo Cafe

The Boneless Crispy Pata Binangoongan (P698) was crispy with its chicharon-like parts. No doubt it was sinful, but it really was a classic dish (but made easier). Interestingly, it comes with a special sauce that was subtly sweet and savory. Its mild-bagoong-like taste gave the crispy pata a more playful and bold flavor.

Since this dish may seem pricey, only go for this if you have excess budget to spare, and go for the dishes with "Recommended" pins.

Boneless Crispy Pata Binangoongan of Romulo Cafe

Time's really flying so fast, but the only way to beat it is to enjoy each moment of it with the people that matter to you. Belated happy birthday my dear sibs!  

A Not-So-Popular Kid in Romulo Cafe

Romulo Cafe - Overall Ratings and Summary

Note: Unshaded stars are equivalents of half-stars. The ratings reflect my personal experiences on the times I dine here.
Place ★★
Taste  ★★
Service  ★★
Value for Money ★★
Budget: at least P500 each for a light to moderate sharing type of dining experience for a group of at least 4
No. of visits for this particular restaurant/branch - 1 || Date of last visit - July 11, 2018

Romulo Cafe is a restaurant ideal for intimate occasions (such as my brother and sister's birthday). All thanks to the combination of traditional feels (from the portraits and photos on the wall) and modern touches that gave the interior a fancy ambiance. The dishes also hit the right spots as they were able to provide the "comfort" we were looking for. I highly suggest that you go for the (1) laing, (2) mixed bicol express and (3) kare-kare. We totally enjoyed it here, and made the day even more special for our family.

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Romulo Cafe
Location: 148 Jupiter St. corner Comet St., Bel-Air, Makati
Contact No.: (02) 478 6406
Service Charge: 10% before VAT

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